REVIEW: The Kings of Summer

23 04 2013

The Kings of SummerRiverRun International Film Festival

More and more, I’ve come to appreciate movies that can use montage to great effect.  Scenes have their own power, sure.  We remember those scenes from our own life; they constitute reality.  But that’s not always how we remember our lives.  We see them in glimpses and flashes, which add up to make truth.

Even though it might not connect at every moment, sometimes a well-edited montage can capture the ephemera of life with such raw power that they tap into and connect with something deep within ourselves.  The most obvious example in recent memory is Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life,” whose camera floats through life itself and reaches you with evocative imagery (even if its story leaves you unmoved or just plain confounded).  More subtly, films like “Up in the Air” and “The Artist” have caught these moments of fleeting joy in well-cut dance scenes.

The Kings of Summer,” though it features a compelling narrative that plays like “Superbad” meets “Moonrise Kingdom,” is at its best when it captures these brief snapshots of unfettered adolescence.  Though I’m still in the process of moving into full independence, I can look back on the days of yearning for escape from my parents’ house with the slightest bit of nostalgia.  And while the majority of the film is silliness and shenanigans, every once in a while an image would flash on the screen that really got at something subconscious within me.

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